Wednesday, March 22, 2023
March 22, 2023

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Camas, Washougal focus of hospitality workshops

By , Columbian Small Cities Reporter
4 Photos
The Camas Hotel is one of the places Dale Blosser likes to visit when he's in the area.
The Camas Hotel is one of the places Dale Blosser likes to visit when he's in the area. Blosser calls himself a professional mystery guest for boutique hotels, and today he'll be in Washougal giving presentations at the Best Western Plus Parkersville Inn & Suites. Photo Gallery

This week, the Camas-Washougal Chamber of Commerce is hosting hospitality workshops with a secret shopper for the hotel industry.

Dale Blosser, who describes himself as a professional mystery guest for boutique hotels, will give two presentations today at the Best Western Plus Parkersville Inn & Suites in Washougal. Blosser bills the event his “Five-Star Service Workshop,” and in each three-hour session he’ll share service industry tips that he believes could help Camas and Washougal become top Northwest destinations for vacationers.

Blosser, a Vancouver resident, owns DC Blosser & Associates, a Portland-based hospitality consulting firm, and he says he has more than 20 years of experience in management and sales. In the past three decades, Blosser’s trained at hotels throughout the country, and he plans to release a book about his experience as a mystery guest.

Brent Erickson, the chamber’s executive director, said Blosser approached him about doing a presentation in Washougal several months ago, and he thought it sounded interesting. The Columbian sat down with Blosser for a little Q&A ahead of his workshop to give you an idea of what to expect.

What are your impressions of Camas and Washougal?

The Camas Hotel is where my wife and I staycation. Every year, or twice a year, we go to the Camas Hotel. We have our favorite room, and we analyze what we’ve accomplished for the year, kind of regroup and make an action plan on how we’re going improve everything from our finances to our relationship for the next year.

How do you distinguish between Camas and Washougal?

I see Washougal as having an advantage in location to the river and the Gorge, where Camas has more restaurants and shops and things in the downtown area. I see it as a plus-plus. In other words, if I’m going to stay a couple of days in the area visiting my family, I’ve got lots of places to go.

How could Camas and Washougal become top Northwest destinations?

A lot of people are staying closer to home nowadays rather than going to Vegas, Hawaii, or London or the Caribbean. We have so many things to offer. To me, we’re kind of like the gateway to Portland. We have all the benefits of Portland without putting up with the bologna of Portland. You don’t have the Beaverton traffic jams. You don’t have the crime of Portland. You have all the “beautifulness” of Southwest Washington.

What do you want to convey to chamber members?

My goal is to get everyone who’s in contact with visitors in the Camas-Washougal east county area to get them motivated to return, come back and spend their money and have them be more of an advocate for us.

What are some of the highlights from your workshop?

There’s 10 specific things that we’re going to be going over. And the idea is that when you’re interacting with a guest at a hotel or restaurant or retail business, you should attempt to do one thing that makes them say, “Wow, they sure are nice.” One of the wow factors is everyone on duty within the area looks up and greets you when you walk in. Another wow factor is anticipating needs. If you anticipate a need for the guests, guests are going to go away saying, “Wow, they really do care, don’t they.”

Blosser said he’ll present the same points in each workshop, so there’s no need to attend both. The first one starts at 9 a.m., and the second is at 1:30 p.m. For more information, contact the chamber at 360-834-2472.

Columbian Small Cities Reporter